The Syro-Malabar subjugation is probably the saddest in the history of the unions, which makes the union of Mar Ivanios even more astounding. Perhaps, you can speak on this.
Of course, there are two versions of the Mar Ivanios saga, but both versions have politics in common.
At the time of the Syro-Malankara Church's formation, the Orthodox in India were divided between the autocephalous faction and that still remaining under Antioch (this division, in turn, was in part due to the inability of Antioch to provide good leadership from a geographic and cultural distance resulting in, among other things, unknowingly ordaining a bishop for a Protestant breakaway sect). Mar Ivanios was a bishop of the autocephalous Orthodox Church, a founder of a monastic "order", an educated man. As such, he was involved in leadership at a time of turmoil for the local community.
The Syro-Malankara claim is that Mar Ivanios was commissioned by the autocephalous Orthodox synod to approach Rome with a plan for a "Unia": since they were not recognised as legitimate by the then reigning Patriarch of Antioch, this would be a way of becoming "legitimate". He made contacts with the Roman Church, worked up a plan that would allow our administration and traditions to remain intact while being in communion with Rome, etc., but the Orthodox synod backed off at the last minute, and he chose to go ahead anyway.
The Orthodox claim, in a nutshell, is that he recognised an opportunity to become the head of his own Church rather than contest for the equivalent post in the Orthodox Church (and not get it). And he decided to go for it...a simple power play. In all my years of being interested in this stuff, no one has yet produced any synod documents or other "proof" that the Orthodox Church wanted to "go Roman": there's more substance in the claims that they approached ROCOR and/or Moscow as the Assyrians did a century or so before.
Because I know they approached the Russians at a time of turmoil, I'm sure there is some truth to the idea that "someone" suggested trying Rome. I just think that someone was Mar Ivanios, or perhaps it wasn't a serious suggestion but Mar Ivanios ran with it. Both versions end with him doing his own thing apart from the rest of his brother bishops (except one, who went with him) and becoming a primate. Oddly enough, the maintenance of our traditions, which was part of the original deal, was quickly rescinded: they themselves chose mandatory celibacy, unleavened bread, Latin devotions, etc. But they are among the most "Orthodox" of the Eastern Catholic Churches in liturgical terms, despite these sorts of innovations, and there are a few customs which they preserve which we don't, and I'd like to see make a comeback.
The Syro-Malabar union is truly a sad story, a shameful episode in East-West relations, in "ecumenism", in missionary work, you name it. The Syro-Malankara union doesn't come close...that was pure politics. In both cases, "the faith" came later.